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Excerpt: “Ever since we first commenced housekeeping, I cannot say the creatures have let me know one day’s perfect peace. A more indulgent master and mistress I am sure they never could have had. For myself, if they had been my own children I could not have looked after them more than I did—continually instructing them, and even sometimes condescending to do part of their work for them myself, out of mere kindness, just to show them how; and never allowing a set of fellows from those dreadful barracks in Alb—ny Str—t to come running after them, turning the heads of the poor ignorant things, and trifling with their affections, and borrowing their wages, and living upon me. And yet the only return the minxes made me was to fly in my face directly my back was turned, and to drive me nearly mad; so that at times I have been in that state of mind that I really did not know whether I was standing on my head or my heels. For what with their breakages—and their impudence—and their quarrelling among themselves—and their followers—and their dirt and filth—and their turning up their noses at the best of food—and their wilful waste and goings on—and their neglect and ill treatment of the dear children—and their pilferings—and their pride, their airs, and ill tempers—and those horrid soldiers—(but more of this hereafter)—I’m sure it was enough to turn the head of ten Christians. But I do verily believe that both my body and mind were giving way under it; and, indeed, our medical adviser, Mr. J——pp, (as I afterwards learnt,) told Edward as much, and that if he did not get me away, he wouldn’t answer for the consequences; adding, that it was only the very fine constitution I had of my own that had kept me alive under it all. So that when Edward communicated to me what our medical adviser had said, and proposed that we should break up our establishment, and retire to a boarding-house, where at least{5} we might enjoy peace and quiet, I told him that I had long felt (though I never liked to confess as much to him) that my domestic cares had been making inroads upon my health and constitution that I never could restore, and that I would gladly give my consent to any course that he thought might add to his comfort; that all my anxiety had been to protect his property, and prevent his furniture from going to rack and ruin before my very eyes, but that if he wished to part with it, I would not stand in the way; for, to tell the truth, I was sick and tired of house-keeping and servants, and only too glad to wash my hands of them altogether."

Ficción y literatura
11 enero

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